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Uncle Monk: News

It’s Springtime Again - April 23, 2009

It’s springtime again – the plants are budding, the birds are building their nests, and Claudia reminded me that we have not posted news on our website in a long time, so we are going to remedy that.

We recently started working on our new record, this was after spending most of last year touring the country and meeting lots of great people. We started at the Folk Alliance where we were part of the Fabulous Duo Co-op, which was started by Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart and includes many talented duo acts. The Coop as we call it is like a family of great people who happen to play wonderful songs. You can find out all about the Coop here http://www.myspace.com/duocoop.

We then went to SXSW in Austin where we had the pleasure of Louis Meyers joining us on Banjo. Also on the bill with us was Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, they were doing their Sparrow Quartette show with Casey Driessen and Ben Sollee, it was a memorable night. When we got back to NY we were invited by the Highline Ballroom to open for Buffy Sainte-Marie. I remembered watching her on TV when I was young never thinking that I would ever meet her, let alone perform on a show with her. She looks and sounds fantastic!

We then set out on our first trip to Canada when promoter Gary Topp invited us to come up to Ontario. He had booked some great shows in the past for the Ramones in Toronto and wanted to be the first one to book Uncle Monk there. Our first stop in Canada was at the Grant Avenue Studios in Hamilton, where radio personality Lou Molinaro was nice enough to book some studio time for Uncle Monk to lay down tracks. We then did two nights of shows at The Dakota in Toronto. Gary Topp did a wonderful job of promoting the show and bringing the people down to see us. On that tour we also played the Red Dog Tavern in Peterborough and The Absinthe club in Hamilton. That club actually serves absinthe and it was the first time we tasted it. We ended this tour back in the US in Cleveland at The Beachland Tavern, great club, nice people.

On our next trip we headed to Nazareth, PA to play at the Christian Springs Hotel and Tavern, where we were greeted by people from the Martin Guitar factory who were nice enough to bring some strings for us as presents. Unfortunately we were not able to see the factory as it was a weekend and it was closed. A week latter we played at The Nelsonville Art and Music Festival in Ohio, my brother who lives nearby came down to see us. This festival was held in a beautiful colonial village, where people in period costumes were churning butter and spinning wheels. Also playing the festival were O’Death, Dawn Landis, and the Avett Brothers.

In June we went to the Midwest to start a tour booked by Liz Bilyeu of Mayapple Records. One of the highlights of the tour was the Wakarusa Festival in Kansas where we played for a great audience of enthusiastic young people. After the show we headed back to our hotel where we were glued to the Weather Channel waiting for a tornado to hit us, which fortunately never came. We also played a great house concert in Ashland, NE, which was held on a beautiful farm where dozens of peacocks roamed freely. That night we were kept awake waiting for another tornado to hit – it was that time of the year in the heartland.

Some other shows we played on that tour included one in Kansas City at the famous Mountain Music Shoppe, where there were actual lines to get in to see us, and they even had the police there! Next stop was Oklahoma City, at The Blue Door, a wonderful listening room with pictures of famous Americana and Roots performers on the wall. We ended the tour at the fabulous Rock House in Reed Spring, MO where the show went well but Claudia got sick from a stomach virus.

In September, we headed south to one of our favorite places the Gravity Lounge in Charlottesville, where Bill Baldwin, the wonderful host, gave us his usual warm reception. We then were on our way to Nashville for the Americana Convention. When we got there, our first stop was at Norm’s River Roadhouse a great place with fine music, terrific BBQ and cool Beer. Our friend Mary Sack put together a great show with Randy Weeks, Bill Jackson, Jeff Black, Irene Kelley, and us. Our next show in Nashville was at The Basement, which is the club next to the famous Grimey’s record store. We played the afternoon party there for the Americana Convention. This was another great show for us as we got to play to a lively crowd of enthusiastic young people.

We then headed up to Louisville, KY where we met up with bluegrass enthusiast Mike Bucayu and his wife Michelle and had a great time at their place jamming the night away. The next day Uncle Monk played a terrific show in Louisville booked by promoter Laura Wallace at an art gallery called 6th and Oak – we had a great turnout of quality people.

Then we headed back to Nashville for the IBMA Convention, which is the Bluegrass event of the year. We played some fine showcases there and were honored to have Tim O’Brien in the audience along with the great Japanese bluegrass musicians Akira Otsuka and Saburo Watanabe of the famous Bluegrass 45 band. This was our first time showcasing at the IBMA and we felt that we had come a long way since our beginnings two years ago. We met many wonderful people and made some great new friends there.

In November, we played the Towne Crier Café with Marc Black who was nice enough to invite us to open for him. We then headed out to Ohio to do the famous Honky Tonk House Concert in Streetsboro. After which we headed for Auburn Hills, MI where Craig Carrick presented us at Callahan’s, a fine club. We ended the year at the Cake Shop in NY where we played with our friends Radio I-Ching.

We decided to start work on our new record at the start of the New Year, so we have cut back on touring until it is finished. We have done two special shows so far this year when we were invited to participate in Nashville’s Tin Pan South Festival. We had the honor of playing with Tim O’Brien and Sonny Curtis at the famous Station Inn. We also played the Otherlands Coffeebar in Memphis as part of the Folk Alliance. There we played with Chris Stamey and Peter Holsapple of the great 80’s band the DB’s. It has been many years since we saw Chris and Peter, and we had a wonderful time thanks to Louis Meyers and James Manning who arranged the show.

Uncle Monk - Year End Roundup - December 31, 2007

It started at Tonic in January, a great club that is now closed due to the malady of urban renewal. We played there with the always innovative and eclectic jazz trio Radio I-Ching. Then we went on to play the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago for Robbie Fulks’ radio show. A wonderful experience as we got to play with Butch Hancock.

Then winter turned into spring as we went from playing the Folk Alliance convention in Memphis, to South By South West, in Austin, where we were joined by Louis Meyers on Banjo. After which we came back to New York all nervous because the next day we had to open for Ralph Stanley. How is that for a kick in the pants? Then we got to play the famous Club Passim in Cambridge with the Punks are Folks Too gang led by Peter Walsh of the Gobshites. After which we joined the variety extravaganza of the fabulous Anna Copa Cabanna at the Bowery Poetry Club.

Then in May we started off on our first tour of the South, playing Georgia, North Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia. It was a special time for us as we made lots of new friends and got to see many of the places where our musical influences originated. We did our first TV show at Woodsongs in Lexington, KT, and got to play with the extraordinary Forge Mountain Diggers in Asheville, NC. Also in May our CD hit record stores and we were happy to get some great reviews for it.

For the second half of the month we went to California, and got to do some cool shows in LA, Sacramento, Oakland and San Francisco. We played with Lee Ving, Simon Stokes, the Whoreshoes, and Kepi (of The Ghoulies). We also had a chance to drive through some farm country; and it was great to see where our food comes from.

When we came back east, we played lots of shows in New York State including the famous Café Lena in Saratoga. We also had our first show at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, NY. Then we joined our friends the M Shanghai String Band for a show at Union Pool, in Brooklyn, which also included the entertaining indie bluegrass group Hogzilla. Then as fall came around we made our first appearance on, fine artist, Mark Kostabi’s “Title This” TV show.

To top off the year we had the unimaginable honor of opening for Earl Scruggs at the BB King Blues Club. Two bluegrass legends in one year - Amazing!

We are now getting ready to start work on our next record, so stay tuned and we will let you know about our progress. And please keep checking our website for future tours as we plan to visit the Midwest, Canada as well as the South and West Coast.

Hope we see you at one of our shows!

Cheers,
Tommy & Claudia

Uncle Monk on TV - June 9, 2007

Here is Uncle Monk on The WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour # 439 doing the song "Long Gone."

It’s Spring Again ! - April 2, 2007

Well a whole year has gone by since our debut at the 2006 SXSW festival, and what a year it has been. We have played a lot of shows and met a lot of wonderful people, but mainly we got to play our music, which has been a dream come true for us.

Speaking of dreams coming true we just finished a show with the legendary Ralph Stanley, and that was something I could not have even dreamt about. When I was a kid listening to Ralph Stanley sing Little Maggie on my father’s record player, there was no way I could have ever imagined that I would meet him, let a lone share a stage with him. It was an amazing experience.

What made it even more special was that we had just gotten back from the 2007 SXSW festival where we did our anniversary showcase at Momo’s, a great club on Austin’s famous 6th Street. We played several private parties including the famous Guitar Town Party at Mother Egan’s, thrown by Cary Baker of Conqueroo. It was a star filled showcase with many great acts. Joining us for most of the shows was Louis Meyers on Banjo, it was great having him help us out, we sound even better as a trio. We also played the Burnside party at Threadgill’s, which was a great outdoor event, and many others including a charity show at the Caritas of Austin Community Kitchen, which was especially rewarding for us. All in all we had a great time this year in Austin.

Right now we are getting ready for our first big tour. We start out with a short one in New England, playing at the famous Club Passim in Cambridge, MA, on April 6, and then we do our first show in Worcester, MA, on April 7, at Ralph’s. Latter in the month we go to Providence, RI, on April 27, at a club called AS220.

In between we do two shows in NY one at the Parkside lounge with Copper Kettle, a great NY bluegrass band, and then a Variety show at The Bowery Poetry Club hosted by Anna Copa Cabanna, both of these are do not miss events.

Then in May the real tour begins as Uncle Monk heads down South. One of the highlights will be in Asheville, North Carolina as we play the famous Grey Eagle with the Forge Mountain Diggers, a cutting-edge old time string band. They are a bunch of really cool musicians.

Then, latter in the month we head out to California where we play the Knitting Factory in LA and lots of other cool places in Frisco, Berkeley and Sacramento.

Please keep checking our website and Myspace for updates of new shows as we are always adding more, and don’t forget our CD will be in a store near you in May.

Cheers,

Tommy & Claudia
Uncle Monk

Winter News - February 5, 2007

Winter News

We are starting to line up some tours of the US, so please check our calendar updates to see if we are coming to your town.

We are happy to say that our CD is going to be available in the record stores starting in May, so please keep a lookout for Uncle Monk in your local shop.

We have some exciting shows coming up. We are playing the International Folk Alliance convention in Memphis in February; then we are heading down to Austin for our return engagement at SXSW in March. Also in March is a big show at the BB King Blues Club, where we are playing with the legendary Ralph Stanley.

Than we do a tour of the Northeast in April, and head down south for the first half of May and then out to the west coast for the second half.

We will keep adding dates throughout the year so please keep checking the calendar; we are looking forward to seeing you at one of our shows.

We have just finished doing a show with the great Butch Hancock, for Robbie Fulk’s XM radio show. It was held at The Old Town School of Folk Music, which is a great venue in Chicago. This show was a major thrill for us as we are big fans of both Butch and Robbie.

We are looking forward to some of our upcoming shows. One of them will be with The Wilders, a wonderful band from the Midwest. We are doing a showcase with them at SXSW. Another great band is The Forge Mountain Diggers, a terrific cutting edge old-time band that we are playing with at The Grey Eagle in Asheville, NC. These are some hot shows!

Cheers,
Tommy & Claudia

Summer News - July 24, 2006

We are looking forward to our upcoming shows in August. We had such a great time playing at the Lizard Lounge in July, that we are heading back to Cambridge, MA on August 18 to play at The Middle East Club. It is a big show with our friends the Gobshites, who play great Acoustic Celtic music. After our Uncle Monk set, I will be joining them on a couple of songs in their set. Also playing on the bill are 3-Day Threshold and Lenny And The Piss Poor Boys, both popular Alt/Country bands, this should be one great show!

The next day, August 19, we head for Providence, RI to the Century Lounge with the Gobshites, where I will be joining them again for a couple of songs after our Uncle Monk set. The other acts on the bill are Bo Bailey, Lonesome Jukebox, and Rev Bob and The Darkness.

The following week we return to NY with two big shows, one in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn. On August 25 we are playing at the Ace Of Clubs. It’s part of the NYC Opry series and we are proud to be included. On August 26 we are playing with the fabulous M Shanghai String Band at Freddie’s Bar & Back Room in Park Slope. This is our second official show with this great band, and we are really looking forward to a hot night of music and fun.

Cheers

Tommy

Uncle Monk on your iPod. - June 27, 2006

We are Happy to announce that the Uncle Monk record is available for digital download from many different Internet sites including Apple iTunes. There are even ring tones available from Verizon.

Right now there are 23 different sites that have Uncle Monk, or soon will, and there will be more on the way. So go to your favorite site and see if they have Uncle Monk for sale.

Of course good old CDs are available at CD Baby.com and Amazon.com.

UNCLE MONK: Uncle Monk

We have played some exciting shows these last couple of weeks.

We had our first show with the M Shanghai String Band, and we had a ball. We ended up jamming till 3 in the morning. M Shanghai (who are named after a cool Chinese Bistro in Williamsburg where the show took place) is a great group with 11 members. They have first-rate original songs. There are several songwriters in the band and they all contribute their own unique and special touch. Their performances are highly entertaining, like a modern day medicine show. Please check them out – you will have a great time. We are looking forward to playing with them again in August.

Next we played the CBGB Gallery and it was definitely a night for nostalgia. The stage is like the original stage at CBGB. It felt like we were back in the old days where we first began. Adding to the mood was the welcome sight of Monte Melnick; the Ramones tour coordinator who came down to see us. We played with the groups Radio I Ching and Johnny Black both very different but entertaining bands. It was a very eclectic night of music.

This week we are going up to Cambridge, MA to play the Lizard Lounge on July 1. We will be playing with mandolin virtuoso Jimmy Ryan and his band. Then we are looking forward to our return engagement at The Parkside Lounge on Houston Street, New York City on July 10.

Please keep checking the website for future dates and news.

Cheers,

Tommy & Claudia
Uncle Monk

Late Spring Update - May 24, 2006

We have finished doing our first shows and it has been great! Everybody has been so nice to us.

Our first date after our SXSW premier was at Café 9 in New Haven, CT. Paul, who booked us was so warm and friendly that it calmed our jittery nerves. There was a nice crowd of people, who showed up and they were very supportive. We played with the Can Kickers a great bunch of guys from Connecticut who play a hybrid of punk and old-time music. They have a lively act and had the audience dancing.

The next show was at Pete’s Candy Store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. This is a great little club with a cozy atmosphere and great acoustics. We had a good audience and a lot of fun. We played with The Extraordinaires; they are a talented duo from Philadelphia who do original songs that tell stories.

The following week we played The Parkside Lounge on Houston Street, our first show in Manhattan. What a night this was! Lots of fans showed up including Jari-Pekka from Finland who brought some friends with him. Also there was artist Arturo Vega and musician Jed Davis. It was a great show. We played with a great genuine NY bluegrass band called Blue Harvest, if you have a chance check them out, as they are first rate. And so is the Parkside Lounge, a great club with a cool bar and a very pleasant music room. Jenny, who booked us, was a terrific host and we will be back there soon.

We have more gigs coming up including our first gig at CBGB Gallery. Please check our Calendar page for dates of upcoming shows.

Thanks,

Tommy & Claudia UNCLE MONK: Uncle Monk

SXSW - March 20, 2006

We had a great time at the South By Southwest Festival; everyone was so nice to us. It was our first live performance so we were a bit nervous, but the audience gave us a great response and told us afterwards how much they enjoyed the show.

We would like to thank everyone at SXSW for their hospitality.

Cheers,

Tommy & Claudia

Uncle Monk CD Now Available! - March 15, 2006

We are happy to say that you can purchase the Uncle Monk CD
Right Here!
UNCLE MONK: Uncle Monk

SXSW Update - February 23, 2006

Uncle Monk is going to have their premier performance at BD Riley's, in Austin, TX, on Saturday, March 18, as part of the South By Southwest Festival.

Uncle Monk CD Coming Soon - January 29, 2006

We are in the process of sending our first record to the pressing plant, so it should be available in a few weeks. Hope you like it.

Uncle Monk to play at the SXSW Festival in March 06 - January 12, 2006

We are happy to announce that Uncle Monk has been invited to participate in this year's South By Southwest Festival. The Festival is held in Austin, Texas from March 10-19, 2006. We will update this when we know the exact day and venue.

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